Scott Symons

Liberty University

Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers

Conference: Ind.

Coach Stats

Why should this nominee be considered for the Broyles Award?
Broyles Award nomination for Scott Symons The Liberty defense has made incredible improvement since Scott Symons was hired to be the Defensive Coordinator. The year before Scott arrived, Liberty’s defense was ranked 123rd in total defense allowing 36 points per game. Scott came to us with a proven track record of rebuilding and turning defenses around. During his tenure at Liberty, that track record continued. He has transformed the defense into one of the top performing units in the country. We saw immediate improvement in the 2019 season, helping Liberty to an 8-5 season including a first ever bowl game. This trend accelerated during the 2020 season and shows up in virtually every defensive statistical category. Currently, the Liberty defense is ranked No. 9 in the nation in total defense, No. 18 in red zone defense, and No. 18 in scoring defense. These are truly amazing accomplishments, especially considering how far Scott has brought Liberty’s defense in such a short time. His leadership on the defensive side of the ball is a key factor in Liberty’s 9-1 record this season, including a 2-1 record vs ACC teams. For these reasons and his ability to recruit and establish strong relationships, it is my honor to nominate Scott Symons for the 2020 Broyles Award. — Head Coach Hugh Freeze
Coach's Past Performance
Scott Symons: 2019 Year in Review (first year at Liberty University) • Symons’ defensive schemes played a vital role in Liberty finishing its first full season at the FBS level with an 8-5 record, including a win over Georgia Southern in the 2019 FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl. • With the Cure Bowl victory, Liberty became the third team in NCAA history to win a bowl game during its first full season at the FBS level. • Symons helped mold four Liberty defensive players that signed NFL free agents contracts after the 2020 NFL Draft: linebacker Solomon Ajayi, safety Elijah Benton, defensive lineman Jessie Lemonier and cornerback Bejour Wilson. • Along with wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden, who was a fourthround pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and Symons’ four free agent signees, Liberty had five players sign with NFL franchises, the most in program history. • Lemonier finished his two-year career at Liberty with 20.5 sacks, which ranked third among FBS players nationally in total sacks recorded during the 2018 and 2019 campaigns. • Benton, a former walk-on at Liberty, finished his four-year career with the Flames as the team’s active leader with 205 career tackles, including 123 career solo stops. • The Flames finished the season ranked No. 28 in the country in sacks (2.69 per game) and No. 31 in interceptions (12).
Team Record and Standings
2020 Record: 9-1 Second full year at the FBS level, Liberty has been ranked in the top 25 rankings four out of the last five weeks (first time in school history). Liberty has posted a pair of wins over P5 programs in 2020 (Syracuse and Virginia Tech). Liberty’s lone loss of the season was a 15-14 setback at NC State where Liberty had a potential game-winning field goal blocked during the final minutes of the game. Liberty was a perfect 6-0 at home this season and finished the year with a 45-0 shutout win over UMass, the program’s first shutout victory since 2016.
Team/Unit Stats
Third-Down Conversion Defense – Liberty ranks No. 16 (32.3 percent) Fourth-Down Conversion Defense – Liberty ranks No. 28 (42.1 percent) Fumbles Recovered – Liberty ranks No. 23 (5) Passes Intercepted – Liberty ranks No. 15 (10) Passing Yards Allowed – Liberty ranks No. 7 (171.6 per game) Red Zone Defense – Liberty ranks No. 18 (74.1 percent) Rushing Defense – Liberty ranks No. 34 (129.6 yards allowed per game) Scoring Defense – Liberty ranks No. 18 (19.2 points allowed per game) Team Passing Efficiency Defense – Liberty ranks No. 22 (117.20) Total Defense – Liberty ranks No. 9 (301.2 yards allowed per game) Turnovers Gained – Liberty ranks No. 18 (16)
Individual Player Stats
DE Durrell Johnson – Ranks No. 37 in the country in sacks (0.80 per game/8.0) LB Anthony Butler – Ranks No. 45 in the country in interceptions (2)